News Briefs: Taste Test Reveals People Prefer Recycled Water

In this week's water and wastewater news, researchers conduct a blind taste test and find people prefer recycled water; and a Boston startup company will monitor sewage for opioid use

News Briefs: Taste Test Reveals People Prefer Recycled Water

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In a blind taste test based out of the University of California-Riverside, researchers discovered that recycled water from direct potable reuse systems was rated better than traditional tap water.

The scientists are attempting to bring awareness to the process used in DPR and quell fears about drinking recycled water amid a global water shortage.

“It is important to make recycled water less scary to people who are concerned about it, as it is an important source of water now and in the future,” the study’s lead author, Daniel Harmon, told the Daily Mail.

Source: Daily Mail

Boston Startup to Monitor Sewage for Opioid Use

A startup company out of Boston called Biobot Analytics won a $10,000 grant at the South by Southwest Conference & Festivals for its business pitch of mining opioid consumption data from sewage.

The pitch was judged by mayors from around the nation. Municipalities could use the technology to create a map of drug use.

“We are creating a new layer of human health data intelligence in our cities and, to start, we’re focusing on the biggest public health crisis in the United States,” Newsha Ghaeli, co-founder and president, said during the pitch. “We measure the concentration of opioids and other drugs in sewage in order to estimate consumption in neighborhoods.”

Source: Trib Live

Russia Accused of Cyberattacks Against Water Systems 

 The U.S. government has accused Russia of orchestrating cyberattacks against its water, power and electric systems, according to a story by the New York Times.

Officials say the attacks picked up toward the end of 2015 at the same time Russia ran its interference in the U.S. elections.

The cyberattackers had allegedly compromised operators in North America and Europe after President Trump’s inauguration.

Source: The New York Times

Fetus Found in Treatment Plant Catch Basin

Authorities in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, are seeking the mother of a fetus that was found at the Deer Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.

The fetus, which was in the second or third trimester, was found by a worker in a catch basin. The employee then called 911.

According to investigators, the mother may have visited a health clinic in the area immediately after giving birth prematurely or having a miscarriage.

Source: Oklahoma’s News 4


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